source: trunk/doc/readme.txt @ 1258

Last change on this file since 1258 was 1258, checked in by Peter Johansson, 13 years ago

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$Id: readme.txt 1258 2010-11-01 14:15:45Z peter $

Copyright (C) 2005 Jari Häkkinen
Copyright (C) 2006, 2007, 2008 Jari Häkkinen, Peter Johansson
Copyright (C) 2009, 2010 Peter Johansson
This file is part of svndigest,
svndigest is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the
Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your
option) any later version.
svndigest is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with svndigest. If not, see <>.


This manual describes how to use the three programs included in the svndigest package:

  • svndigest
  • svncopyright
  • svndigest-copy-cache

About svndigest

Svndigest traverses a directory structure (controlled by subversion) and calculates developer statistics for all subversion controlled entries. The result is written to a sub-directory of a user specifiable target directory (default is the current working directory).


To understand what statistics is calculated by svndigest this definition is needed: The developer who made the latest change to a line still in use in the latest revision, is considered as the contributor of that line regardless of who actually originally created that line.

For each developer svndigest calculates the number of contributed lines in the latest (checked out) revision. Svndigest calculates for each revision, by checking when each line was last changed, how many lines each developer had contributed at that specific revision and still are in use.

see also:

Different linetypes

Svndigest parses each file to decide whether a line is code, comment, or other. Depending on the file name different parsing modes are used, which means different sets of rules what is code or comment are employed. Common for all modes is that comment blocks are identified by a start code (e.g. '/*' in a C file) and a stop code (e.g. '*/' in a C file). If a line contains visible characters being outside comment blocks, the line is considered to be code. Otherwise, if the line contains alphanumeric characters inside a comment block, the line is considered to be a line of comment. Otherwise the line is considered to be other.

From svndigest 0.7, it is possible to configure which rules are used for different files. For more on how to configure svndigest see below. If no configuration file is given or no rules are given, a set of default rules are used. For files named *.h, for example, rules allowing to detect comments as either // ... \n or `/* ... */`. These rules can be set in the configuration file using a one-liner like:

*.h = "//":"\n" ; "/*":"*/"

The first string (*.h) is a file-name-pattern describing which files this rule will be used on. The second block, "//":"\n", is the first rule saying one way to mark comments is to start with a start code, //, and end with an end code, \n. The start and end codes are surrounded by "" and separated by :. Similarily, the second block describes that comments also could come as /* ... */.

Sometimes it might be useful if a file could be parsed as though it was going under a different name. It could, for example, be useful if files named could be parsed as Makefile or files named could be parsed as though it was named More generally, it would be useful if files named <file-name-pattern>.in could be parsed as though it was named <file-name-pattern>. For this reason it is possible to set rules on how a filename should be interpreted (see section [file-name-dictionary] in configuration file). Default behaviour is that there is only one such a rule in use, namely the one described above that trailing .in in file names are discarded.

Caching Statistics

To avoid retrieving the same data repeatedly from the repository, statistics is cached in files located in .svndigest. Subsequent svndigest runs read the cache files and retrieve information from the repository only for the revisions that have been committed since the cache file was created. Obviously, it is important that the cache files reflect the history of the current working copy. If that is not the case, for example, if you have switched working copy using `svn switch`, you can make svndigest ignore the cache through option --ignore-cache. From svndigest 0.8 the cache file contains information on the configuration (e.g. codons) used to create the statistics. If that configuration is different from the current one, the cache file is ignored and statistics is retrieved from repository.

Different file types

There are many different types of files and for many file types it does not make sense to define lines. Source code, documentation, and other human readable files can be treated in single line basis whereas symbolic links and binary files cannot. svndigest treats binary files and symbolic links as zero-line files. There is a possibility to exclude files from the statistics, the use of the property svndigest:ignore.

Sometimes large test files and XML files are added to the repository that should not really be counted in the statistics. This is solved with the svndigest:ignore property. Files with this property are excluded from statistics. Setting the svndigest:ignore property to a directory will exclude all siblings to that directory from svndigest treatment.

To set the property on file FILE, issue `svn propset svndigest:ignore "" FILE`. For more detailed information refer to


The configuration file may be used to define various behaviors for svndigest. By default svndigest looks for a config file named config in directory <root-dir>/.svndigest (<root-dir> is directory set by option --root). If no such file is found, svndigest behaves as default. Which file to be used as config file may also be set with option --config-file. This option can also be used to avoid picking up a configuration file in <root-dir>/.svndigest; issue --config-file=/dev/null and the default configuration will be used. To update an old config file you can use the option --generate-config. With this option set the used configuration will be written to standard output. If new variables has been added to configuration of svndigest, these variables will be written with default values. Note: if you have added a comment (e.g. a subversion keyword) to your old config file, this will not be inherited to the new config file. To preserve such a comment you must merge the new config file with the old config file manually.

The color used for each author in plots and blame output can be configured in section [author-color] in config file. The format of the color string is a 6-digit hexadecimal number in which each color (red, green and blue) is decribed by 2 digits, i.e. each color is described by a value between 0 and 255 in hexadecimal format. It is also allowed to set the color with a 3-digit hexadecimal number in which case, for example, 'a5b' would be equivalent to 'aa55bb'.

The format of images in the report can be configured in section [image]. Allowed formats are png, svg, and none where the latter implies that images are not created.

From svndigest 0.6 there is support for TracLinks. The root trac location may be set in the configuration, in which case various links to the trac site will be included in the resulting report. This includes links from revision number to the corresponding revision at the trac site, and various kinds of links are detected in the messages in Recent Log.


Svndigest runs against a working copy (WC), i.e., svndigest will not run directly against a repository. Svndigest requires that the WC is pristine before running the analysis, i.e., no files are allowed to be modified. We also recommend that the WC is in synch with the repository. Issue svn update before running svndigest.

About svncopyright

svncopyright updates the copyright statement in subversion controlled files. The program detects the copyright statement and replaces it with a copyright statement calculated from repository statistics.

The copyright statement is detected as the first line containing the string given in configuation variable copyright-string (default 'Copyright (C)'). The copyright statement ends with the first following line containing no alphanumerical characters excluding the prefix string that preceeds 'copyright-string'. This copyright statement block is replaced with a new copyright statement generated from analyzing svn blame output. An author is considered to have copyright of the file if (s)he has added a line of code of comment (excluding copyright statements). For an example of the format of the generated copyright statement, please have a look at the top of this file.

By default the svn user name of the author is printed in the copyright statement. This may be overridden by setting a 'copyright-alias' in the config file. In svndigest, for example, user name jari is set to copyright-alias Jari Häkkinen and user name peter is set to copyright-alias Peter Johansson. If two (or several) authors are given the same copyright-alias they are considered as one person in the copyright statement (i.e. their alias is not repeated). This may be useful if you want to give copyright to an organization rather than to individual developers.

About svndigest-copy-cache

As explained above, statistics are cached during a run and svndigest only communicates with the server to retrieve statistics of the activity since last run. Subsequent runs are much faster why it is prefereble to run svndigest in a wc with recent cache available.

Sometimes it is useful to copy the cache from one wc to another, and an easy way to do this is to use the tool svndigest-copy-cache, which is shipped with svndigest. A common use case is when creating, say, a release branch from the trunk, in which case you likely will have two working copies to follow the two branches. If you want to run svndigest on both of them and you want to avoid the first expensive run (without cache) you can copy the cache from the trunk wc to the release-branch wc.

As explained in the caching section, it is important that the cache reflects a revision that belong to the history of the wc. So, for example, when creating a branch it is crucial to copy the cache from the trunk wc to the new branch wc before running svndigest on trunk wc. Otherwise the cache will contain information about changesets that were committed after the new branch were forked out. This will not only be untrue as these changesets are not in the line of history of the branch, but it will also cause problems for svndigest when calculating the statistics of the most recent revisons and result is undefined due to inconsistency between the cache and the log. For an example of how svndigest-copy-cache may be used please refer to the ReleaseProcedure of svndigest.

svndigest-copy-cache copies the cache file from ROOT tree to the corresponding directory in TARGET tree. The tree structure of the two working copies must be identical because svndigest-copy-cache will not create any directories in TARGET tree except that .svndigest directories are created when necessary.

Also, svndigest-copy-cache is ignorant about svn wc and will parse through ROOT directory and all its sub-directories, looking for svndigest cache files, regardless whether they belong to the same svn working copy or not. Therefore, having other svn wc in subdirectories of ROOT might give an unexpected result.

Note: See TracBrowser for help on using the repository browser.